Zoom in on imageMinister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen.
Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen. Credit: Norwegian Armed Forces

The Government proposes to increase the defence budget by more than 2 billion Norwegian kroner. The defense budget for 2020 will thus amount to almost 61 billion Norwegian kroner. We are now entering the last year of the current long-term plan. With the government’s proposal, the goals in the long-term plan have been fulfilled.

The Norwegian Army’s share of the budget is about 6 billion Norwegian kroner. This includes funding for the introduction of the new short range air defence into service. More ammunition for training and exercises will be procured, and spare parts for the Army’s main battle tanks will be procured to maintain the operational capacity until new main battle tanks are acquired. The budget allows for the strengthening of the Finnmark Land Command with the continued establishment of a ranger company at the Garrison in Sør-Varanger and a new manoeuvre element at the Garrison in Porsanger. The Government will continue the high level of training and exercises in the Home Guard.

The Norwegian Navy’s share of the budget, including the Coast Guard, is about 5.7 billion Norwegian kroner. The main priorities for 2020 are increased manning for frigates and the Coast Guard and a continued high level of activity.

The Norwegian Air Force’s share of the budget, including the Rescue Helicopter Service, is about 6.9 billion Norwegian kroner. In 2020, introduction into service of the F-35 fighter aircraft and the new NH90 helicopters, and increased activity in air defence units will continue. In addition, preparation for the transition to and reception of new P-8 maritime patrol aircraft from 2022 will continue.

The Government proposes to allocate 105 million Norwegian kroner for temporary measures to reduce the negative effect on operations after the loss of the frigate KNM Helge Ingstad. This includes increased manning and number of days at sea for the logistics vessel KNM Maud and the procurement of lost spare parts.

– The investments produces results. The Chief of Defence reports an increase in activity and that the development is moving in the right direction, says Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen.

With the government’s defence budget proposal, including adjustments in reporting defence spending to NATO, the preliminary forecast on defence spending’s share of GDP is about 1.8 percent in 2020.

Norway–European Union relations

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EU-Norwegian relations
Map indicating locations of European Union and Norway



The Kingdom of Norway is not a member state of the European Union (EU). It is associated with the Union through its membership in agreements in the European Economic Area (EEA) established in 1994, and by virtue of being a founding member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which was founded in 1960, one of the two historically dominant western European trade blocs. Norway had considered joining the European Community and the European Union twice, but opted to decline following referenda in 1972 and 1994.

Norwegian political parties’ positions[edit]

Currently, parties supporting or opposing EU membership are to be found in both right-wing and left-wing coalitions: as a result, most governments contain pro- and anti-EU elements. To avoid further debates concerning EU membership, anti-EU parties usually require “suicide paragraphs” in government-coalition agreements, meaning that if some party in the coalition officially begins a new debate on EU, the government will fall. This has been true for both the previous centre-right Bondevik government and the centre-left Stoltenberg government. The following table shows the different parliamentary parties’ stance on EU-membership, sorted by their vote share in the latest parliamentary election (2017):

Norwegian political parties’ positions, Spring 2019[17]
Party For/against EU
For/against EEA
Main argument as stated on party websites
Labour Party For For Cooperation, influence in EU decisions.[18]
Conservative Party For For Peace, stability, solidarity, influence.[19]
Progress Party Against For[a] Bureaucracy, regulations; renegotiate EEA.[20][21]
Centre Party Against Against Sovereignty; withdraw EEA.[22]
Socialist Left Party Against Against Worker’s rights, undemocratic; withdraw EEA.[23]
Liberal Party For For Trade, diversity, peace, democracy.[24]
Christian Democratic Party Against For EEA sufficient.[25]
Green Party Neutral For No position.[26]
Red Party Against Against Social dumping, undemocratic; withdraw EEA.[27]
  1. ^ If the terms of the agreement are renegotiated.[clarification needed]

Opinion polling[edit]

On average, Norwegian voters are strongly opposed to Norwegian membership in the European Union. Polling averaged over a 10-year period shows around 70% of Norwegians voters are opposed to full EU membership.

According to a 2010 poll, the majority of the voters of every Norwegian party were against EU membership.[28]

Date Conductor Yes No
2003-09[29] Sentio 37% 38%
2005-06[30] Sentio 36% 51%
2006-05[31] Response 45% 55%
2006-09[31] Response 45% 55%
2006-11[31] Response 41% 59%
2007-04[31] Response 45% 55%
2007-11[31] Response 42% 58%
2008-05[31] Response 40% 60%
2008-12[32] Sentio 37.5% 50.7%
2009-01[32] Sentio 32.5% 52.8%
2009-02[33] Sentio 35.1% 54.7%
2009-03[34] Sentio 33% 54.9%
2009-04[35] Sentio 34.9% 53.3%
2009-05[36] Response 42% 58%
2009-05[37] Norstat 38.6% 49%
2009-06[37] Norstat 40.6% 50.3%
2009-09[38] Sentio 35% 52.2%
2009-10[39] Sentio 41.4% 45.6%
2009-11[40] Sentio 42% 58%
2010-02[41] Sentio 33% 53.4%
2010-04[42] Sentio 36.3% 50.1%
2010-05[43] Norstat 32.3% 55%
2010-05[44] Sentio 30.3% 56.9%
2010-05[45] Response 26% 62%
2010-07[46] Sentio 25.3% 66.1%
2010-07[47] Norstat 25% 66%
2010-08[48] Sentio 26% 62%
2010-09[49] Sentio 24.9% 64.9%
2011-01[50] Sentio 22.5% 65.9%
2011-05[51] Response 29% 71%
2011-07[52] Sentio 17.1% 73.4%
2011-07[52] Sentio 20.1% 68.8%
2011-10[53] Sentio 18.6% 70.8%
2011-10[54] Synovate 12% 72%
2012-07[55] Sentio 17.2% 74.8%
2013-01[56] Sentio 18.7% 70.8%
2014-08[57] Sentio 17.8% 70.5%
2015-12[58] Sentio 18.1% 72.0%
2016-06[59] Sentio 19.6% 70.9%
2016-08[60] Ipsos MMI 16% 66%
2018-06[61] Sentio 22% 67%

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]

Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs on Brexit, Trade

4 May 2018
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